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Light

Materials

Researchers use graphene to control light waves

A team of MIT scientists has combined graphene with a second, similarly structured material, producing a hybrid that can wield significant control over light waves. The findings could have an impact in a number of fields, including efforts to utilize light in computing chips.Read More

Space

Massive stars lit up the early universe

After the Big Bang, it took several hundred million years for all the hydrogen and helium and some other gases floating around to start to coalesce into the first stars to light up the universe. New research shows these ancient suns would have clustered together to form extraordinarily bright groupings of stars. Read More

Levitating lightbulb takes Flyte

Need something to place alongside your levitating Bluetooth speaker? Or just sick of utilitarian lighting solutions anchored down by ghastly wires and fittings? It looks like progress in magnetic levitation, wireless charging and a particular product designer's brain have come together to save the day. Flyte is a globe that hovers freely above its base, offering a unique way to light up a room.Read More

Electronics

Graphene device makes ultrafast light to energy conversion possible

Converting light to electricity is one of the pillars of modern electronics, with the process essential for the operation of everything from solar cells and TV remote control receivers through to laser communications and astronomical telescopes. These devices rely on the swift and effective operation of this technology, especially in scientific equipment, to ensure the most efficient conversion rates possible. In this vein, researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Institut de Ciències Fotòniques/ICFO) in Barcelona have demonstrated a graphene-based photodetector they claim converts light into electricity in less than 50 quadrillionths of a second. Read More

Science

Artificial "skin" changes color in response to minute force

A thin and flexible chameleon-like material developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley changes color when stretched or bent even tiny amounts. With potential applications in camouflage, structural fatigue sensors, display technologies, and more, the material's color changes reliably as it gets flexed thanks to rows of ridges that are precisely etched onto a silicon film one thousand times thinner than a human hair.Read More

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